Bets Continue To Be Placed On The FCoE Horse Race

Well, we just hit a milestone in storage: considered the world's largest storage company, EMC is now implementing QLogic FCoE technology across its entire product line. This is definitely an inflection point - imagine how many FCoE cards EMC and QLogic will jointly ship. Clearly the FCoE adoption rate will accelerate now that EMC is behind this a single chip connectivity product.

Tom Trainer

September 2, 2009

2 Min Read
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In a previous blog, I said it appeared to me that we were headed for a two horse race with regard to FCoE.  Well, a few of you have made your cases to me (and not just snide posts in the blog comments area) and I have listened intently.  I agree that we should include a few more horses on the track and keep a close eye on them as they gallop toward a market place finish line.

Well, we just hit a milestone in storage: considered the world's largest storage company, EMC is now implementing QLogic FCoE technology across its entire product line. This is definitely an inflection point - imagine how many FCoE cards EMC and QLogic will jointly ship.  Clearly the FCoE adoption rate will accelerate now that EMC is behind this a single chip connectivity product.

EMC's V-Max, fairly new on storage scene, now gets a connectivity boost with the ability to leverage full FCoE bandwidth across host connections - which will be needed when working with massively powerful Nehalem EX processors.

This is a big win for QLogic and builds on their trajectory of strong FCoE design wins - 3 at IBM, 2 at NetApp and qualifications across nearly all of EMC's storage portfolio: V-Max, DMX, CX-4 and NS Celerra.

QLogic is accumulating significant business deployment wins for its 8100 Series CNAs for FCoE.  In contrast, Emulex just announced a design win with IBM BladeCenter using someone else's Ethernet NIC. It appears that it's not an Emulex design win, but a ServerEngines' design winLet me call it like I see it:  QLogic is already providing a standard CNA, a mezzanine CNA and 10Gb CEE Pass-Thru Module for IBM's BladeCenter - they have FCoE all over the BladeCenter platforms. Emulex is taking ServerEngines' Ethernet NIC, re-branding it as Emulex, and calling that a design win.  It seems as though Emulex's strategy is to port its FC STACK to ServerEngines Ethernet NIC and create a UCNA - quoting a source within a very well known California based storage company, "Well, the UCNA has yet to materialize, so now they are announcing 'design wins' for someone else's Ethernet NIC technology."

In this blog, I wrote about EMC, Emulex, and QLogic primarily because these three vendors have been in the news this week and last.  Other vendors, including Brocade, and Cisco are in the horse race and some are betting on them for win, place, or show.  We will continue to monitor them and write about their activities.  

So all of this brings us right back around to where we started.  It's probably time for a graphic to illustrate the horse race well underway, and to characterize the players with a leaderboard.  I'll be sure to add both to my next blog.

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